Being a writer isn’t easy, problems do occur.
And most of the time, they can be unavoidable. Spending hours, days or even just a few minutes with these problems is enough to make you want to pull out your hair in frustration.
Without further ado, here are three common problems for writers.
Out of Ideas
Ever been planning your story – or just typing away – and suddenly you get stumped? That the idea well inside you feels like it’s all dried up?
Without the ability to conjure up any ideas, you may find yourself getting stressed or frustrated. Which unfortunately isn’t going to help you out.
You know what you want to write, but you just need that idea that brings it all together. It may be how a problem is resolved, it may simply be a change in plans for the climax, or it could be that you have no idea what to name this brand new character who has just walked into the scene.
Take a breather and collect yourself.
That idea well isn’t as dried up as you think. The idea is in there, it just needs some prodding to encourage it to surface.
There are a number of ways to solve this, it all just depends on what it is that you are stumped on. Typically, research is key. For names, maybe check out a name generator or even look up a baby name website.
Maybe your plot’s issue is that the protagonist has a terrible illness, take some time to research as much as you can about it and how (if there is a way) that this illness is known to be cured. Even if you created your own illness, to make it feel realistic consider how real-world illness similar are treated.
Lack of Confidence
Confidence is key in this industry.
But unfortunately, we aren’t all confident people (myself included).
A common problem amongst many writers is not being able to present their work without feeling self-assured. And honestly, it is something that takes time to develop.
And then once you have built it, you have to work to ensure it doesn’t crumble if you receive any feedback that isn’t positive.
In terms of the feedback that you may receive, look for the constructive criticism. If someone tells you that they didn’t like it, try and find out exactly why. For instance, they may just not like that genre and that’s okay. Or they could tell you that the story didn’t seem to flow. That character development happened immediately and it felt forced instead of naturally progressing. That sort of feedback is valuable. Take the time to go through the story again, understand how something that seemed obvious in your mind wasn’t to the reader.
Personally, it takes a lot for me to publish a post or even a tweet. And this all comes down to my lack of confidence. But I started this blog to help myself build it because I know how important it is.
So if you are a writer (especially if you are just starting out), maybe consider creating a blog of your own if you haven’t already. It may be exactly what you need to build up your confidence.
Yes, the dreaded writer’s block. There is no way that I would create a list like this and not include it.
Writer’s block can strike at any time and can be brought on by many different reasons.
For instance, you may have spent the last week writing for five hours a day as you planned, but now you just don’t want to.
Or maybe you’ve run out of ideas (as I previously covered) and now you just don’t want to keep it going.
Or maybe you’ve convinced yourself that this novel has gone off the rails and you could never fix it so instead you opt to binge watch your favourite show or binge read.
When it comes to writer’s block, there are a few things you could do. It all just depends on what helps you and motivates you. Begin by taking a break, it may be that you’ve been working so hard at it (or at the other activities in your life like study or other work) that you are just exhausted.
After taking this break, you are going to need to pinpoint what it is that motivates you. Perhaps go through your plan for the story (or even begin planning if you were just winging it). Here you may find what has stumped you or come up with a brilliant idea that you can’t help but write about.
Another thing you could do is to set personal rewards for yourself. Say you finish writing this chapter and you get to watch an episode of that show you’ve been eager to see. Or, just to get yourself into the flow, maybe even set a goal where you get your favourite snack after writing a page.
Hopefully, these incentives give you the push you need to get back into writing and pass this block.
Don’t forget, if you can’t figure out where to take your characters next, just take a moment to listen to them. Let them lead, you never know what adventures they lead you to that makes your story even better.
And that’s it for this week. As always, please feel free to comment your opinions and thoughts down below. And why not follow my blog and Twitter too?
Thank you for reading.